Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

20 Michigan Journal of Race and Law 349 (2015)


At first glance hate murders appear wholly anachronistic in post-racial America. This Article suggests otherwise. The Article begins by analyzing the periodic expansions of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the protection for racist expression in First Amendment doctrine. The Article then contextualizes the case law by providing evidence of how the First Amendment works on the ground in two separate areas — the enforcement of hate crime law and on university campuses that enact speech codes. In these areas, those using racist expression receive full protection for their beliefs. Part III describes social spaces — social media and employment where slurs and epithets may be used frequently. The final portion of the Article briefly explores two forms of unacknowledged racial violence — violence directed at minorities who move to white neighborhoods and extremist killings. Our inaccurate approach to bias-motivated crime and the culture of protection around racist expression, the Article concludes, leaves American society vulnerable to the danger created by racial extremists.